Stress is a difficult emotion. In truth it is always present; there are always pressure and responsibilities to live up to. The way we handle the stressors we encounter—that is what defines us, for it affects our bodies, our livelihoods and our emotional health.
Forty million adults in the United States (18 percent of the population) are affected by an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Extreme stress that impairs your everyday function could be anxiety, so see a doctor if you think you suffer from this disorder. It is treatable in everyone, though it arises from varying factors such as “genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events.”
The ADAA also suggests treatments outside of medication for all levels of stress and anxiety: meditation, yoga, acupuncture, pastoral counseling and dance therapy. Stress therapies such as these treat a person’s spiritual health, because stress affects us in our emotional center more than any other “life difficulty.” It is the consequence of circumstances out of our control, and the solution is to change our turmoil into peace and our worry into constructive action through transcendent activity.
Physicians at Parkview encourage patients to take immediate action to feel in control of your life. They suggest you “find time for yourself— and your goals” in order to experience joy and empowerment through a new hobby and time with people you love.
Sounds right, but how? Relax by baking, walking or taking a vacation, and laugh as often as possible. Perhaps the most important tip they offer is to exercise daily. With no pressure to lose weight, women need to exercise to burn stress, feel proud of their bodies and willpower, and have an uninterrupted opportunity to meditate in the gym or studio.
To nurture your spiritual health, take steps to avoid stress.
- Surround yourself with people you love who are supportive of you and share your belief system.
- Strive to improve your financial situation and build a secure savings account.
- Keep an organized household, even if you need to hire someone to do that for you.
- Take long breaks from electronic devices—they can make you feel constantly “at attention.”
- Consider seeing a therapist who will listen to you without judgment and help you to understand yourself and the way you approach stress.
Parkview Health, Fort Wayne, 260.266.2478, parkview.com
Want to learn more? Try this group!
Join Richard Johnson, PhD, and Jack Dyer, MD, to learn about Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and get the tools to help you let go of stress, chronic pain, anxiety, depression and the symptoms of many debilitating diseases. MBSR offers mind-body practices that can help you experience a greater sense of well-being, including meditation, the body scan and gentle yoga. Participants will also receive CDs for home practice and Meditation for Beginners, a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.
For information, or to pre-register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 260.693.7106.